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The Social Network Is Great, Nothing More

Posted by Greg on Oct 15, 2010 in Movies

The Social Network is a fine film, a Grade A film even, but it is not nearly the vaulted work that people are heralding it as. It’s certainly no Citizen Kane and it’s not anything close to The Godfather, and while its arguably Fincher’s best, there’s still a lot to gnaw at.

Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg is a revelation and certainly worthy of the highest accolades. Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin is equally as impressive, if not more so. If The Social Network does anything, it vaults Garfield to the top of the class as actors to be reckoned with. Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker is no slouch either and the remaining periphery characters, most notably Armie Hammer as the Winkelvos brothers are also indelible.

Aaron Sorkin’s snappy, mile-a-minute, screenplay has gotten ample amounts of hype and for good reason, but at what point does fatigue and rust set in? While its fair that geniuses and computer programmers often do talk at lightning speeds, that doesn’t mean it won’t leave you weary.

Whether that argument holds water or not might be irrelevant, if only because as a cinematic device, the heightened pace of the dialogue helps fuel the film’s exultant cadence. That being said, slogging through all of it can be dizzying. Taken at face value though, the screenplay is certainly one of the more memorable of the year and veritable proof that Sorkin is a class all by himself.

Aided by Trent Reznor’s haunting soundtrack and Jeff Cronenweth’s cinematography, there’s few flaws. But cinema requires pathos and often feeds off of broken heroes, downtrodden losers and warmhearted protagonists. The Social Network has absolutely none of those and that absence is why, even when it is at its best, The Social Network can at times feel hollow. Save for Saverin, there isn’t a likable nerd in the bunch.

Over at Metacritic, the film has received 100 ratings from at least a dozen publications, some of which are the most revered in the nation. But those holier-than-thou critics can they think what they want. The Social Network is a gem of a film, arguably the yeaer’s best and may even become an instant classic, but placing it on a shelf along the likes of Citizen Kane and The Godfather, at this point, seems foolhardy at best.

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